In his report into “missing documents” in Ishrat Jahan encounter case, Home Ministry official B K Prasad has suggested that documents laying the groundwork for the second affidavit filed by UPA government in September 2009 went missing during exchanges between then Home Secretary G K Pillai and then Home Minister P Chidambaram.
Prasad, who is Additional Secretary (Foreigners), has also concluded that these “missing documents” were never placed on the file at all, and went missing between September 18, 2009 and September 24, 2009.
The Indian Express had reported on June 16 that Prasad had tutored witness Ashok Kumar, a former Director in the Home Ministry, to say he had not seen any of the missing documents. In the conversation on April 25 reported by The Indian Express, Prasad had told Kumar: “Aapko itna toh kehna hoga ki ya toh woh file hi maine kabhi zindagi mein deal nahi kiya, kabhi file ko dekhne ka kabhi mauka hi nahi mila. I don’t think you have seen that file at any point?. Bas that is what I want from you: ‘I have not seen that file at all.’ Aap dekhoge tabhi toh pata chalega na.”
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Responding to the report, Prasad had said he had conducted a “free and fair” probe. However, the copy of Kumar’s statement recorded on April 26, 2016, matched Prasad’s suggestions during their conversation. Asked if he had received the file, Kumar replied, “I have during my entire tenure, neither dealt with this case nor kept this file in my custody.”
In his inquiry report, Prasad has concluded, “If the statement of Joint Secretary (D Diptivilasa, who was JS, Internal Security-I from January 1, 2008 to March 3, 2010) is to be believed to be true, then the only possibility that remains is that these documents were delinked/retained during the movement of the file between the then Home Secretary and the then Home Minister.”
The inquiry has found that the file pertaining to the second affidavit was on September 24, 2009 returned to Diptivilasa, who had initiated the file notings pertaining to the second affidavit, with instructions from then Home Secretary G K Pillai to get the affidavit filed. In his statement, Diptivilasa has said that when the file was returned to him on September 24, 2009, the papers were not in the file.